After a few years of anticipation by fans, John Calipari finally seems on board with loading up on shooters.
And he just landed one of the best outside shooters in the country in CJ Fredrick, as the former Iowa guard has committed and signed with the Wildcats.
Fredrick, originally from Cincinnati (OH), made waves in the Bluegrass during the 2018 Sweet 16 Tournament while playing for Covington Catholic. He was the 2018 Gatorade player of the year in Kentucky while leading the Colonels to a 35-4 record and Sweet 16 championship. He averaged 27.8 points while shooting 63% from the field in the Sweet 16.
Despite all of his accolades, Fredrick was a lightly recruited player in the Class of 2018 who had offers from Indiana, Penn State, Xavier, Miami (OH) and Ball State before pledging to the Hawkeyes. 247 Sports ranked him 223rd nationally, 47th among shooting guards, and third in the state of Kentucky.
CJ Fredrick. My goodness.— Josh Moore (@JoshMooreHL) March 18, 2018
End 3Q: Covington Catholic 54, Scott County 43 pic.twitter.com/UAo1LzmpoK
Once Fredrick arrived at Iowa, he redshirted his first year and then started immediately as a freshman the following season, averaging 10.2 points on 48.3% shooting (48.3% from deep), 1.9 rebounds, and 2.8 assists vs. 1.3 turnovers in 28.7 minutes per game.
This past season, the 6-3, 195-pound Fredrick averaged 7.5 points on 47.4% shooting from the field and from three-point range with 1.9 assists vs. 0.4 turnovers in 24.7 minutes per game. While his numbers regressed, part of that was due to a lower leg injury suffered in early January, which would cost him four games and limit his playing time to below 20 minutes in six other games the rest of the way. He reached doubles figures just twice over his final 17 games.
In the 10 games Fredrick played before January, he averaged 11.3 points on 37/70 shooting (52.9%) and 2.7 assists vs. just four turnovers. He also hit 22/40 shots from deep (55%). That stretch included arguably Fredrick’s best collegiate performance, as he scored 21 points on 8/11 shooting with two steals in a 93-80 home win over North Carolina.
In his two seasons as an Hawkeye, Fredrick shot 47.2% from behind the three-point line on 178 attempts. It does not get much better than that, especially for a Kentucky team clearly putting a bigger emphasis on the long ball moving forward.
Gritty. Sniper. @cj_fredrick battled through injuries to produce for the Hawkeyes during the 2020-2021 season. The sharpshooter hit 47% from the field and from three.— Jarek Andrzejewski (@Local4Jarek) April 13, 2021
His season highlights: pic.twitter.com/E5NHt77JTX
This addition gives Kentucky Dontaie Allen, Kellan Grady and Fredrick (and maybe Davion Mintz?) that can absolutely fill it up from behind the three-point line next season. This may be the best shooting time that Kentucky has had during the John Calipari era.
There have been several teams at Kentucky under Coach Cal that have struggled from the outside, and it may have even cost some a Final Four berth. But if the right set of weapons is in place for next season, we may see the Wildcats putting up points in bulk.
Now, check out some highlights of the newest Wildcat in action.